WTM 2015: United has 'no plans' to follow Lufthansa on GDS fee

WTM 2015: United has 'no plans' to follow Lufthansa on GDS fee

United Airlines’ boss of sales in the UK has said the airline has “no plans” to follow its partner Lufthansa in introducing a GDS fee.

Speaking at World Travel Market, Bob Schumacher said United, which sells 70% of its inventory through the trade, has not seen an impact on sales of transatlantic flights as a result of Lufthansa’s decision to impose a €16 fee on GDS bookings earlier this year.

“Lufthansa is a partner of ours but they made that business decision for Lufthansa alone,” he said.

“We have no intention of doing the same thing and we are in GDS contracts for several years hence.

“We will of course continue to negotiate with the GDSs for the best rates we believe we can get, in the latter part of 2017.”

Schumacher also said that United’s move into Heathrow’s Terminal 2 with other Star Alliance members in June last year has had a positive impact on customer satisfaction.

“Being there makes our message so much easier for our customers to understand,” he said.

“We did a lot with the trade prior to the launch and we will continue to take them on fam trips to the airport and beyond.

“Everybody knows we came from Terminal 4 and Terminal 1 which was confusing. This has been a great step up both for United in the UK and more generally.”

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